Available scar treatments
The goal of treatment at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Cincinnati is to maximize function and help children lead as normal a life as possible. Treatment will depend on the type and severity of the injury/defect.
Depending on the type of injury, the duration of treatment may also include physical and occupational therapy to return the child to optimum functioning. Treatments can be surgical or non-surgical depending on the injury.
Tissue expanders are bags made of a rubber-like material, very much like a balloon. Expanders are used in many different places: neck, chest, abdomen, and scalp. The expanders help stretch or expand the skin so that it can pulled over an old injury or the scalp to correct traumatic alopecia, cover wounds, skin deformities, scars, or to cosmetically improve the appearance of old trauma.
Laser treatments have great potential to improve the appearance of chronic, old, and new scars. Different hand pieces are available to increase the treatment options to include reducing scar thickness, improving the appearance of new scars, eliminating both light and dark hair growth, and treating birth marks.
While the laser helps the medical staff treat more conditions more effectively, there is no way to tell how many treatments are needed. Follow-up treatments are required every six to eight weeks until the best results are achieved.
This laser enables Shriners Hospitals for Children — Cincinnati to manage scar and skin conditions to a degree that is not available in many communities.
Scars can never be completely erased; however, there are options to improve the appearance of scars or reduce the size of a scar in some cases. This can be done through minimally invasive surgery, use of tissue expanders, and/or complete surgical revision using advanced wound closure techniques.
Cosmetic consultations are offered for all kinds of skin conditions and scars. Our makeup artist teaches the basics of skin care and concealing scars or other congenital marks or trauma on the body. This coverage can be done on any part of the body, not only the face. Appointments are arranged through our outpatient department.
Compression garments are worn to help flatten the appearance of scars. These garments are tailored in the hospital to fit the child exactly and apply just the right amount of pressure.
Who needs pressure garments?
If the burn has healed in less than 14 days garments are usually not needed. The scare is managed with massage. Burns that take 14-20 days to heal are monitored closely for the need for garments, however if the burn takes longer than 20 days to heal or was skin grafted, garments are always worn.
Additional treatment options
- Microvascular surgery, including free tissue transfers and flaps
- Toe-to-thumb transfers
- Various surgeries to create functional hand positioning
- Occupational & physical therapy